When R+Co launched back in 2014, there was intense buzz on their amazing natural-leaning yet performance-oriented formulas, the all-star trio of founders Garren, Bumble and bumble vet Howard McLaren and master groomer Thomas Prianno, but what nearly every jaded beauty editor freaked about was the bold original look of the products.
Amanda Wall the creative force behind the brand’s packaging was not cast in the role of Design Director, she created it for herself. Says Amanda: “I was involved in casting and production so no one was like ‘Hey Amanda, you should design the packaging for us.’ The first concept presented wasn’t working, so I came up with the concept of a photo to evoke the mood of each product’s formula.
“It’s really so simple, but incredibly powerful…Hair is so personal, each person can talk for hours about his/her hair so it makes total sense that the packaging be emotional. Photography is one of the best mediums for setting a mood, evoking a response.”
The packaging is particularly personal to Amanda. Her hands can be found on the Mannequin Hairspray, it’s her jacket in the brand’s new Motorcycle Gel, her shirt features prominently on the adorable Chiffon Mousse.
The creative process starts with a name. When the brand was still being conceived she and Howard McLaren brainstormed hundreds of names while on a drive from Las Vegas to LA. “It all starts with a cool name, or at least a cool name that isn’t taken. We work from there to come up with a specific image.”
For the company’s latest shampoo and conditioner for blondes, she and Howard (who shoots all the imagery) literally stopped traffic on Sunset Boulevard to capture just the right sunset image. “I really wanted this to be about an LA girl, not neccessarily a Hollywood girl, just a cool sexy woman that spends a lot of time in the sun” Amanda’s own head of blond hair is pretty amazing which she is currently growing out. Her routine for keeping it that way includes a modified “no-poo” routine. “I don’t wash it much. My favorite R + Co product is Death Valley because it gives my hair just the right texture but also because it reminds me of our trip there, that photo was taken at 5am in 105 degrees weather.” She’s recently relocated to Miami where R + Co is based in the emerging Design District.
What is she liking about her new home?
“I appreciate the whole anybody- can-be-sexy vibe. You can see a chick on a motorcycle with gold stilettos, that’s pretty cool”
Perhaps we’ll see a pair of gold stilettos on R+Co’s next product.
Some of Amanda’s favorites below:
Female Design Hero: That’s a no brainer Phoebe Philo, her aesthetic is one I really respect
Thing She Misses About LA: Weather and her friend’s Cinespia film screening
Websites: Nowness, 1stdibs, iflscience, Purple
Magazines: Gather Journal (check out our profile on the founders here), Lady Magazine, Purple Fashion, MARK Magazine and Apartamento
Music: Burger Records music scene out of LA
Miami Favorites: Sweat Records, C Madeleine – for insane vintage clothing, O Cinema – independent movie theater, Books & Books – local/independent book store